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Robert D. Beyer and Catherine F. Beyer v. Gary Storey

October 24, 2012

ROBERT D. BEYER AND CATHERINE F. BEYER, HUSBAND AND WIFE IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND AS TRUSTEES OF THE MEMORANDUM DECISION AND BEYER REVOCABLE TRUST, A REVOCABLE TRUST ORGANIZED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
GARY STOREY, AN INDIVIDUAL; STOREY CONSTRUCTION INC., AN IDAHO CORPORATION; AND ROBERTS ELECTRIC INCORPORATED, AN IDAHO CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: B. Lynn Winmill Chief Judge United States District Court

ORDER

INTRODUCTION

The Court has before it Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Dkt. 13). For the reasons explained below, the Court will grant the motion.

BACKGROUND

Gary Storey formed Storey Construction Inc. ("SCI") in 1987 in Ketchum, Idaho. Def.'s Decl., Dkt. 17-2 at 2. Storey is the president of SCI and has held that position since SCI's inception twenty-five years ago. Id.

In 2007, Robert Beyer and his wife entered into a contract with SCI to have SCI build a new residence ("Residence") at 125 Old Mill Road, Blaine County, Idaho. Pl.'s Decl., Dkt. 13-3 at 2. The initial allowance to build the Residence was approximately $9.4 million. Def.'s Decl., Dkt. 17-2 at 2. As construction progressed, however, and the Beyers' requested changes to the Residence, the cost increased substantially. Id. at 2-3.

As construction was nearing its end, Storey requested two loans from Beyer. Pl.'s Decl., Dkt. 13-3 at 2. In January, Beyer wired $250,000 to SCI's business account.

Def.'s Ex. A, Dkt. 17-2 at 7. About four months later, Beyer wired $400,000 to the same account. Def.'s Ex. B, Dkt. 17-2 at 9. On May 10, 2010, Storey signed a promissory note ("Note") to pay Robert Beyer $650,000 within 120 days, with one percent interest. Pl.'s Ex. C, Dkt. 6-5 at 1. The Note was executed by Storey individually. Def.'s Mem., Dkt. 17 at 8.

In count three of the Amended Complaint, Beyer alleges that Storey breached the Note's terms. Pl.'s Am. Compl., Dkt. 6-1 at 4. Accordingly, Beyer requests summary judgment on count three of the Amended Complaint. Pl.'s Mot., Dkt. 13.

LEGAL STANDARD

The case is before the Court on diversity jurisdiction. The Erie Doctrine provides that federal courts, hearing a diversity matter, must apply federal procedural law and state substantive law. Snead v. Metropolitan Property & Cas. Ins. Co., 237 F.3d 1080, 1090 (9th Cir. 2001) (internal quotations omitted).

Summary judgment is appropriate where a party can show that, as to any claim or defense, "there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). One of the principal purposes of the summary judgment "is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims . . ." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986). It is "not a disfavored procedural shortcut," but is instead the "principal tool[ ] by which factually insufficient claims or defenses [can] be isolated and prevented from going to trial with the attendant unwarranted consumption of public and private resources." Id. at 327. "[T]he mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). There must be a genuine dispute as to any material fact -- a fact "that may affect the outcome of the case." Id. at 248.

The evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and the Court must not make credibility findings. Id. at 255. Direct testimony of the non-movant must be believed, however implausible. Leslie v. Group ICA, 198 F.3d 1152, 1159 (9th Cir. 1999). On the other hand, the Court is not required to adopt unreasonable inferences from circumstantial evidence. McLaughlin v. Liu, 849 F.2d 1205, 1208 (9th Cir. 1988).

The Court must be "guided by the substantive evidentiary standards that apply to the case." Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 255. If a claim requires clear and convincing evidence, the question on summary judgment is whether a reasonable jury could ...


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